Friday, November 2, 2012

Where Do YOU Fit In? (part 2)

This chart rings fairly accurate to me, though of course there are no hard and fast rules about how people behave and react to their own situation. I see myself crossing categories because I see the world in terms of international, and then spilling over into poverty because the label on clothing means less than nothing to me. 

I personally know more people living in poverty than in wealth. And something that puzzles me is this: the poor are so overly generous at giving that it makes the rest of us look like Mr. E. Scrooge. And it is inappropriate at times. Example (and I have many): I attended a baby shower for a very poor unwed mother. With one exception, every attendee was a middle-class woman charitably supporting the future child of this ill equipped mom who refused to give up her baby for adoption. The exception attendee was an equally poor unwed mother of many ( call her A), who presented gift after gift after gift after gift. A gave more than the rest of us combined (we each brought the usual one carefully chosen gift). We were embarrassed for her. Why? Certainly A was not self-conscious in the least. All that concerned her was that her friend had nothing and needed everything. Where she got the money to buy the gifts is beyond me. 

According to the info below, in A's world, money should be used, spent. Perhaps the sentiment is, "I will never crawl out of this poverty pit so I might as well enjoy life when and how I can."  Is that why (or at least it's my perception) that smoking and drinking, having costly nail decor, etc. seems more common among lower income folks?  My friend Julie has commented that the poor seem to prop each other up; that way no one falls into the depths of despair and they all manage to get by.

Just some thoughts; end of sermon . . .


  1. That is a great chart! I was talking to a pastor's wife a few days ago. I cannot remember why we got on this subject now, but she mentioned the poor people being the most generous. They are from PA, but minister in southern WV and their church is small and relatively poor. So I think she was thinking of church members many of whom don't have much, but the poorer they are, the more generous they tended to be.

  2. Yes, I've seen this often, where the poor are generous whether in giving or sharing--I have even known poor who let the poorer move into their home or apartment. Think of the widow's mite.

  3. Ooooh, good biblical example - yes!

    I remember now why Leslie and I were talking about this. My Syrian friend cannot go home so he was planning to meet his family in Dubai during Christmas (since they get a nice break from work then in Germany.) He recently went to apply for a visa, and didn't see Syrians listed on the website. He called and the agent said no Syrians were being allowed visas now. He hasn't seen his family since Ramadan 2010, and now has little hope of seeing them for a long, long time. Sure they could meet up in Lebanon or Jordan, but an older brother is settled in Dubai and a sister and her family in Sharjah so they wanted to have a family gathering where some of the family currently lives.

    His point - and mine - was that the rich Arab countries won't allow Syrians in while the poorer ones will. During the Iraq war, Syria allowed in Iraqi refugees despite being a poor country. Samer said the rich Arab countries are not thoughtful, and it's the poorer countries who are more generous to the needy.

    And Leslie asked about Samer which led to our conversation and her comment.

    Sorry to talk your ears off.

  4. I think whether it's a person or a country, you/it feel(s) more removed from others if you are wealthy, and so are less inclined to come to the aid of others--not because you are wicked, but because it's more difficult to empathize. This is a broad generalization of course, as we all can name generous wealthy philanthropists. As for the UAE, I wonder if they ever take in folks for humanitarian purposes. They are strict with the people who come in to work; when they retire they have to return to their home country, even if UAE has become home. Am sorry about the Syrian friend who can't get into UAE, just because he is Syrian.